According to a well-known lyric from the classic Kansas song ‘Dust in the Wind’, “…nothing last forever but the earth and sky.”

While this may very well be true, there are certainly things that we can do to help our journeys last as long as possible. The same can be said about extending the life of our vehicles. Having regular maintenance done on your car or truck is a simple way to make sure that minor problems don’t turn into major headaches down the road.

Most car maintenance tips and checklists primarily focus on routine types of services. These include replacing items that are widely known to wear out as you drive.

Get in a routine of maintaining your vehicle

Most vehicle owners understand that changing engine oil at the recommended intervals will help the engine operate at the proper temperature and keep parts from wearing out prematurely. Left unchanged, engine oil can become dirty, diluted, and ineffective.

The same goes for paying attention to other ‘wearable’ components such as brakes, tires, and suspension parts.

Monitoring how these items are performing on your vehicle – and replacing them as they wear out – is an important first step and absolutely critical if you plan on keeping the vehicle on the road well after its last payment has been made to the bank.

For example, a worn out suspension can also cause tires to fail prematurely. Worn brake pads that no longer direct enough stopping power to the wheel can not only be dangerous, they can also lead to problems with the calipers, rotors, and brake drums. As a result, a relatively simple ‘brake job’ to replace the pads can turn into a major brake system overhaul…on all four wheels.

Consumer Reports recently posted a helpful guide to help owners decide where to go for maintenance and repair work on their vehicles.

Sometimes, even when it’s not broke…you should still replace it.

Another important step to maintaining a vehicle over the long haul is to have preventative maintenance service done at specific intervals.

These types of services are a little more difficult for some people to appreciate, but drivers who keep their vehicles longer than 100,000 or even 200,000 miles will tell you that having preventative maintenance service completed along the way was key to their success.

Typically, these are the types of services you should expect to have done as your car or truck reaches milestones of 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles. Remember, service schedules often vary from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for specific services recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

In addition to regularly changing engine oil, oil filter, engine air filter, tires, brake pads, windshield wipers, and cabin air filters, preventative maintenance services should also include:

30,000 miles

  • Replace fuel filter
  • Flush and replace coolant / antifreeze
  • Replace power steering fluid
  • Replace transmission fluid
  • Inspect and lubricate chassis & suspension

60,000 miles

  • Replace spark plugs
  • Ignition system check
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Brake inspection
  • Inspect wheel bearings
  • Replace timing belt
  • Replace battery

90,000 miles

  • Replace fuel filter
  • Inspect engine coolant and hoses
  • Flush and replace coolant / antifreeze
  • Inspect accessory drive belts
  • Inspect steering linkage
  • Inspect exhaust system and heat shields
  • Lubricate chassis and suspension

Practicing preventive car maintenance is the most valuable action you can do in order to ensure your vehicle is running exactly as it should for as long as possible. Not only does auto maintenance make your car safer to operate, it also helps save a great deal of money throughout the life of the vehicle.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and having a little additional maintenance done on your vehicle will certainly help keep both of you on the road for many more miles to come.

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This article is made possible byVIP Tires & Service. VIP is a completeautomotive repair and service center. When you choose VIP for tiresauto inspection, automotive serviceoil change, wheel alignment, brake repair services, muffler & exhaust repair, or any other car maintenance, you can rest assured that we will keep your vehicle running right. Open 7 days a week and with 56 locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, VIP is right around the corner when you need us. 

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